As much as I love football and covering it in the high school ranks, this time of year starts to get a little cold, wet, and well... cold again. Standing on the sideline for nearly three hours every Friday night in the frigid temperatures and rain isn't the most amazing assignment.
While the football postseason is exciting and fun to cover, I do find myself peaking around the corner for basketball season and it's friendly confines of a covered, heated and well-lit basketball gym. Not to mention, basketball season around these parts is pretty special.
The talent in the Bay Area this season is second to none, with Aaron Gordon at Mitty, Jabari Bird at Salesian, Marcus Lee at Deer Valley, all in pretty much everyone's top 30 recruits lists in the nation. There's countless other top athletes who'll be headed to college to play as well. There's just something about basketball season which breeds excitement and this season should be no different.
My favorite place to cover hoops is the Oakland Athletic League with it's free wheeling style of play and amazing student-athletes on the floor. The excitement at an OAL game is through the roof! My favorite is when the home team throws down a dunk, the crowd explodes and you can feel the re-verb in your sternum. The OAL just knows how to put on a show and if you attend a game you will not be disappointed.
I'd also like to mention a team I'll be watching especially close this season... Deer Valley up in Antioch. When starting at Cal-Hi Sports Bay Area last year, the Deer Valley squad was the first team I interviewed and they were awesome. Starting with big man Marcus Lee -- who recently committed to Kentucky -- they're an imposing force. It's not just Lee, though, the Wolverines also have a standout point man in Kendall Smith who plays with much flair and determination. I really think Deer Valley can make some noise this season and stand up to the traditional powers in the area. Only time will tell, but I know I'm darn excited about it... and warmer, and dryer, and happier.
Long live basketball season!